Pastor – Reverend Rick Gillian

Rev. Gillian was called early in life to Gospel Ministry. He has thirty-two years of Ministry experience, primarily as Pastor. His family is from Maryland, (his mother is retired and lives in Annapolis, and he has a sister who lives near to her). Rick came to the South in January 1988 to begin his Undergraduate studies in Birmingham, Alabama, and became a Southerner for life.

Rick has attended three Seminaries and has completed a Bachelor’s-degree with Major studies in Religion & Philosophy, The Master of Arts in Christian Education, and Master of Divinity studies. He has also completed the Course of Study of the United Methodist Church. He was originally Licensed to Gospel Ministry in November 1987 and was Ordained in May 1991 (at Bluff Park Baptist Church in Birmingham).

The Gillians transferred two years ago into the NGUMC from the Alabama West Florida Conference of the UMC where Rick was serving as a United Methodist Pastor near Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Rick is married to Marcia (pronounced like Marsha), and has two children (Katherine & William) and three grandchildren. William lives at home and has been working at Publix grocery stores for three years. He is a graduate of Coastal Alabama Community College and loves to act in community theatres.

Marcia has a University degree in Music Education, and a Seminary Master’s degree in Music.

Rick’s hobbies are golf and writing.

Douglas, Flo

Lay Leader & Music Director – Flo Douglas

Flo is a life-long United Methodist.  She came to Hopewell as the director of music in 2006 and relished nine years serving in that position.  She is now honored to serve as the Lay Leader, seeking to have an understanding of Hopewell and its congregation and its vision, and helping the church live out it’s God-given mission of being a beacon on this hill.  Flo and Curt are grateful to be a part of the Hopewell family and to worship and serve here.  We encourage others to join us in this special place.

It might surprise you to know that Flo has an associate’s degree in architectural drafting. & 

Vinson, Jeanene #3
Can't you just hear the joy in her laughter.

Lay Member of the Annual Conference – Jeanene Vinson

Jeanene was born in Americus, Georgia, where there were three girls.  When the baby was six months old, Mother and the girls moved to Stevens Pottery, Georgia, to be near family.  Jeanene graduated from Peabody High School in 1955.  In August of 1956 she moved her church letter to Hopewell United Methodist Church.  On September 23, 1956, she married the love of her life, Alvin, at Hopewell.  A job at J. P. Stevens & Company, Inc., starting on January 2, 1956, began a 39 year career as a secretary that included time there, as well as at First Presbyterian Church, and Elliot’s TV, Microwave and Computers.  She retired from Chambers Cleaners at the age of 75.  She has three daughters, two by birth and one taken in as a teenager whom she had known most of her life.  She came to Jeanene needing a safe place to be.  There are now six grandchildren on earth and one in heaven and ten great-grandchildren.  Most people do not know that her first name is Betty.

Pianist – Becky Cooper

Becky Cooper was born and raised in Milledgeville, Georgia.  She graduated from Georgia Military College High School and then from Georgia College with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with majors in Accounting and Management.  She also graduated from Georgia College with a Master of Business Administration degree.  She is employed at a local bank.

Becky has attended Hopewell United Methodist Church since “before she was born.”  She grew up in Sunday School and the United Methodist Youth Fellowship (UMYF).  She has been a member of the Adult I Sunday School class since she was in college.  She has even been in the same Sunday School class with her parents and grandparents.

Becky received her piano for Christmas when she was eight years old and in the third grade.  She started taking piano lessons two days after she received her piano and has continued taking lessons until she graduated from high school.  She started playing the clarinet when she was in the fifth grade and also played until she graduated from high school.

Becky served as Hopewell’s pianist from 1995 until 1998 and then played for the morning and evening worship services, the children’s choir, and the adult choir.  She became interim pianist in May 2017.  She assumed the role of Hopewell’s pianist in October 2017.

A few interesting facts about Becky:  Her great-great-grandfather, Constantine Banner Anderson, was one of the founding ministers of Hopewell United Methodist Church.  Becky has a 29-year perfect Sunday School attendance pin.  Her perfect attendance began when she was eight years old and continued until the Sunday before she married Anthony.

Financial Services – Julie Lavender

Julie was born and raised in Laurens County in the small town of Dudley. She moved to Milledgeville in 1982 and attended Georgia College where she received her BBA in Marketing.  Julie first worked for Philip Morris, Inc., for ten years as a Territory Sales Manager before opening up L & L Farm Mart, a local feed and seed store.  She owned and operated this business for 14 years.  After selling the store, Julie went to work at Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office and her current position is Records Clerk. She’s been employed their for five years and counting.  

Julie met and married a local guy, Greg, in 1986 and has been married for 32 years. They have one daughter, Logan.  In her spare time she enjoys working outside and planting flowers, spending time with family and friends, and especially playing with her  dogs . . . and there’s lots of them!!!!